PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – With more talk about a safe injection site for heroin users in Philadelphia lately, the city’s police commissioner told Eyewitness News, “I want to make it clear that I am not pushing this.”
While he’s far from a supporter of the idea, Commissioner Richard Ross also admitted that his opinion has come a long way from when he was completely opposed to it last year.
“The more accurate description is I’m trying to keep an open mind about it,” said Ross.
But Ross admits that with the opioid crisis so out of control, no options can be taken off the table.
In a statement, Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney said, “My team just came back from visiting sites in Seattle and Vancouver, and we have asked an external expert to review the potential impact of this kind of facility in Philadelphia. I expect to make a decision soon about whether or not this is something that would help the problem we’re seeing here.”
Vancouver is the first city in North America to allow heroin users a site to inject the drug under watch of medical professionals and social workers.
On Wednesday, Gov. Tom Wolf declared Pennsylvania’s opioid addiction epidemic a public health emergency and signed an order for the 90-day disaster declaration.